What Nutritional Supplements Should I Ask My Aging Parent’s Doctor About?

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What Nutritional Supplements Should I Ask My Aging Parent's Doctor About in Tucson, AZ

If you’re worried about whether your aging parent is getting the nutrients he or she needs to stay healthy, you might wonder if nutritional supplements can help. Ideally, seniors should get the nutrients they need from the foods they eat, but that doesn’t always happen. While a diet of nutrient-dense foods from each food group can provide vitamins, minerals, and other substances the body requires, many people don’t consume enough healthy foods to get the benefits. If your aging parent is one of these people, talk with the doctor about nutritional supplement brands, dosage, and possible interactions with other medications. Ask the doctor if the following dietary supplements are suitable and safe for your parent.


Made in the liver and kidneys, carnitine helps the cells produce energy. The supplement form of carnitine is acetyl-L-carnitine, or ALCAR. Acetyl-L-carnitine has shown promise in boosting thinking and memory and may be beneficial for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It may also help with fatigue in older adults. Like many nutritional supplements, acetyl-L-carnitine has some side effects, including nausea and headaches.


During childhood, most people learn about the benefits of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Older adults are at risk of fractures due to osteoporosis, which causes the bones to become weak and brittle. More than 99 percent of the body’s calcium is in the bones and teeth. When an aging person doesn’t get enough calcium by consuming dairy products like milk and yogurt, the result can be weak bones. A doctor can evaluate your parent’s bone density to determine if he or she would benefit from calcium supplementation.

If your loved one needs assistance with planning and preparing nutritious meals, help is just a phone call away. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Vitamin D

Another name for vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin.” The skin requires exposure to sunshine to make vitamin D. When individuals are exposed to sunlight for at least 15 minutes two times per week, their bodies can create enough vitamin D. Vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium, which strengthens the bones. However, many seniors don’t get enough sunlight, limiting the body’s ability to make the substance. Vitamin D–fortified cereals and milk can help, but older adults often need vitamin D supplements. You can request that the doctor order a blood test to assess your loved one’s vitamin D levels and prescribe a supplement in the right dose if needed. 

Some older adults just need a little help stepping out of their homes and soaking up the sun, while others need around-the-clock care to ensure their health and safety. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Tucson seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. 

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, boosts the immune system and builds red blood cells. Beans, eggs, nuts, and whole grains are good sources of vitamin B6. Aging individuals who don’t eat healthy diets may be deficient in this vitamin.

Vitamin B12

The blood cells and nerves need vitamin B12 to prevent anemia, which can make older adults feel tired. Individuals who take antacids regularly and those who take certain diabetes medications may have difficulty absorbing enough B12. The doctor can order blood tests to check your loved one’s B12 levels.

In Tucson, in-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.


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